Fee Waivers

 Practice and policy resources on access to fee waivers for immigrant survivors.


ASISTA Advisory: USCIS Fee Rule & Impact on Survivor-based Immigration Relief

On August 3, 2020, USCIS published the final fee rule which is set to go into effect on October 2, 2020. This advisory discusses the provisions of the rule most relevant to survivor-based forms of immigration relief and will be updated as advocacy efforts progress and more information becomes available.

ASISTA Amicus Brief: Fee Waiver Policy Changes Harm Survivors  (January 21, 2020)

On January 21, 2020, ASISTA and partners submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the case NWIRP v. USCIS in the District Court for the District of Columbia.  This amicus shows the devastating impact that changes to fee waiver forms and policy will have in immigrant survivors of violence.  We are grateful to and for the tremendous efforts of Gibson Dunn for their pro bono representation.  

ASISTA Fee Rule Comment (December 30, 2019)

On December 30, 2019, ASISTA submitted its comment to the devastating fee rule that contains drastic fee increases and severely limits access to fee waivers.

Fee Waivers: Updates in Practice and Advocacy (December 13, 2019)

Given recent updates in policy and practice, ASISTA has compiled a brief summary to provide additional background information, practice tips, and advocacy tools. 

ASISTA Template Organizational Comment in Opposition to USCIS' Proposed Fee Rule (November 2019)

This is a template comment for agencies that serve or advocate on behalf of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence to voice their opposition to the proposed fee rule. 

ASISTA Fee Waiver Comment-July 2019

ASISTA's third comment on the fee waiver form and policy changes, published in June 2019.

ASISTA Fee Waiver Template Comment for Advocates, June 2019

This is another opportunity for advocates to voice their opposition notice provides additional details regarding USCIS’ rationale for adjusting the fee waiver form and practices. We encourage advocates to submit comments to show the impact of these harmful changes to fee waiver forms and guidance on survivors and their families. For a template [click here]. 

ASISTA Fee Waiver Comment-May 2019

This is ASISTA's second comment on the new fee waiver form and policy changes, published February 2019.

ASISTA Fee Waiver Comment- November 2018

This is ASISTA's first comment on the new fee waiver form and policy changes published September 2018.

ASISTA Organizational Template Comment- November 2018

ASISTA created a draft template for organizations that serve immigrant survivors of violence to voice their concerns on the changes to USCIS fee waiver forms and guidance. 

Sign on Letter to USCIS (September 2018)

Over 230 national, state, and local organizations sent a letter to USCIS Director Francis Cissna to voice their concerns about sweeping fee waiver denials in survivor-based cases. 

ASISTA Letter to USCIS (July 2018)

Read ASISTA's letter to USCIS leadership regarding drastic changes to fee waiver practice for VAWA, U and T visa applications.

Practice Resources

Practice Advisory: Fee Waivers for VAWA Self-petitions, U and T Visa Applications (August 2018)

ASISTA has been receiving reports from practitioners nationwide that they have seen  a significant increase in the rates of fee-waiver denials from the Humanitarian Division of the Vermont Service Center. ASISTA has created a practice advisory to help advocates in their fee waiver preparation.

Appendix: Sample Language for Submitting Initial Fee Waiver Requests or Contesting Denials (February 2019). Appendix: Sample Language for Submitting Initial Fee Waiver Requests or Contesting Denials in Word version (February 2019)